Saturday, April 26, 2008

Shoplifting: Case #03 - Peggy

   Saturday afternoon, late. Busiest day of the week, but it was lunch time.
   Trina spotted Peggy swinging across the sidewalk, towards the doors. The store went into alert. Employees shared either grudging respect for, or complete hatred of, Peggy.
   Peggy was male. Blatant shoplifter. He'd case what he wanted, patiently wait until the moment the crew was most engaged elsewhere, then strike. An opportunistic crow, he'd pick your eyes out if you glanced the other way.
   Stacey and Rob caught more thieves than the rest of the store combined. One of them had once murmured, " ... an ex thief is better at ID'ing and catching an amateur or wannabee."   Peggy was no amateur. He was one of the best, simply because we knew he was stealing, and we had never been able to catch the bastard. For Stacey, he had become a personal mission.
   Our crook lurched into Rock and swayed in front of the "N's," pretending he'd never seen those Nazareth CD's in his life. Three pockets over, Stacey tidied The Pretenders. Neither glanced at each other. Dan stood in the Manager Booth, drinking coffee, but paying attention. New girl ran register, rubbing her feet, oblivious to the chess match. I was in Cassettes. Trina was trapped in Vinyl with a geek. Angela and Dave were submerged in Video. Rest of the crew was at lunch. As always, Peggy boosted when the store was short staffed.
   I was called to Classical, Dan paged to Video for an override or crisis. A sleek woman in long jeans and sheer, ripped top asked Stacey for attention in Dance.
   When Stacey next looked, Peggy had moved up front, next to Abba. New girl perched on a stool, skirt hitched high, blowing on one foot. Peggy grinned at Stacey, then bolted off in that bounding gait of his.
   That afternoon, three legs. Other times, four. Four when he wore the prosthetic. He always used crutches. Once underway, he had racehorse speed. Impressive for a one legged thief.
   Peggy - - Peg-Leg - - escaped that afternoon with a handful of CD's.
   Maybe next time we'd catch him.
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